• La Habra, California
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Thomas LeClair

Thomas LeClair

The Vip Family Has Lost A Great Man

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our VP of Sales, Tom LeClair.  On July 13, 2020, surrounded by family, Tom took his last breath. The loss is massive, and he will be greatly missed.

Tom was our VP of Sales

Tom LeClair

Tom was the husband of Kathy LeClair, our CFO, and the daughter of Vip’s founder Howard Vipperman Senior. Tom met Kathy at a party and instantly fell in love. They married in March of 1968. Tom was deeply loved by his three daughters, had 11 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He was devoted to his family, worked hard, and made everyone feel special.

If you knew Tom, you know he was very charismatic and witty. He could always see the humor in situations and was very fun to be around.

Tom was the VP of sales at Vip, and was such a talented salesman. His customers were his friends. He always did what was best for the customer rather than looking to make a profit. He was a relationship builder who ultimately brought in some of the largest accounts that Vip has. He was instrumental in the success of the company.

Tom has left a void that can never be filled, but he will forever be remembered. His imprint on Vip is woven into the foundation of the company. We were fortunate to have with us for so long.

Tom Was Also.... My Dad

Tom and Cindy

On a more personal note, Tom was not only an employee, but he was also my dad.

As you know, Vip is family-owned and operated. Part of the second generation of leadership, my dad helped our business thrive and provided us (the third generation) with a legacy to continue.

Dad loved my two sisters and me with all of his heart, and we certainly felt the same about him. He was always there for us girls and even attempted to put our hair in ponytails a few times. That didn’t work so well! He managed to make it through raising three teenage girls and somehow came out still sane. That’s no easy feat!

Tom Kathy LeClair Vip Rubber

His one true love was my mom. He respected her and knew he had a good woman by his side. Every day at 11:30am, he would walk downstairs to my mom’s office at Vip and take her out to lunch. He enjoyed spending time with her, she was a huge part of his world. It was adorable to watch.

An avid golfer, my dad was often found on the golf course – and he was a good player! I remember playing with him and being frustrated because, well, I am not a good player. He said, “Cindy, don’t keep score, it will be more fun for you.” He was so right. I have not kept score since. I’m still not very good, but I have a lot more fun.

And, fitting for his silly personality, if anyone called and got his voicemail, it said, “I can’t answer the phone, but I assure you I am not on the golf course.” And, of course, we all knew where he was. His sense of humor was great.

A True USC Football Fan

LeClair Family USC

My dad loved many things but was REALLY passionate about USC Football. In fact, he was often referred to as “Tommy Trojan”.

Dad either watched or attended all of the games. He and my mom often traveled around the country to be there for the away games. His collection of USC memorabilia is vast. There is an entire game room at my parent’s house devoted to USC with matching curtains and all!

Everyone knew not to make other plans during a USC game. His team spirit and love for the game brought our family closer. We are all USC fans and have had so much fun watching together.

Germen Shepard Rescue Support

When my dad was in the Army, he trained German Shepard dogs. They were his favorite breed.

He was very active with the Orange County German Shepard Rescue, helping many dogs find homes. An extremely generous man, he certainly brought a lot of great things to this organization.

Honoring Tom

Many people have asked how they can support our family and honor Tom during this time. I know my dad would be thrilled to know the German Shepard Rescue continued to benefit in his absence. We have created a fundraiser in his honor, and you are welcome to join in if you feel led to do so.

The fundraiser is on the Facebook page of my sister Stacey. You can access it via the link below.

If you prefer to send a check, they can be mailed to

German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County
120 Tustin Avenue Suite C-1111
Newport Beach, CA 92663
*In memory of Thomas LeClair

Losing a father is so difficult, and it has taken me several months to be able to write this post. I am sure many of you can relate. But, without grief, we would never get to experience joy. My family and I will cherish his memory, and he will live on in our hearts.

As we continue on as a company and a family, we will echo the famous words of the USC Trojans….. We will “Fight On!”

Please feel free to leave a comment on this post, we would certainly love to hear from you. We love to hear stories from customers who knew him, and just hear from our customers, vendors and friends in general. You are also part of our family.

Cindy LeClair Vip Rubber and Plastic Company

Cindy LeClair is the Vice President of Marketing at Vip Rubber and Plastic Company
Proud to be a part of the third generation of family ownership, Cindy and has over 12 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. She is passionate about helping others and aims to educate and connect customers with the right resources.
If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to reach out. cindy@viprubber.com

38 thoughts on “Thomas LeClair

  1. So sorry for the loss of your father, the VIP family and the rubber industry. May he rest in peace and may your memories of him stay with you and in your heart forever.

  2. OH MY GOD!! HE WAS TRULY A GREAT MAN AND FRIEND AND WILL BE MISSED,

    KATHY MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU, SO SORRY!

    1. Rick, thank you. He definitely will be missed and I will pass this message on to my mom. Cindy

  3. Cindy,

    My many prayers for you and your family! Time heals all wounds but Love will endure!
    God bless you and your family!

  4. so sorry for your loss, your post was moving and I wish peace and comfort for you and your family in this already tough time.
    God Bless, and Well Wishes

  5. Wow, what a heart felt tribute. So sorry to hear of your and his friends’ and relatives’ loss, but it is obvious no one will be at a loss for great memories to keep Tom alive in their hearts. Rest in Eternal Peace Tom.

  6. To the whole VIP family, the DeVoll family is saddened to hear of your loss.
    Please know we have admired the whole family for many many years!

    John DeVoll

  7. I always enjoyed saying hi to Tom, I’ve been doing business with VIP for 35 years. I will miss seeing Tom’s smile and friendly Demeanor when I visit in the future!

    We send our sympathies to Cathy & Children!

  8. Dear LeClair & VIP Family,

    Sending my deepest and sincere regret in hearing this news about Tom. I haven’t talked to Tom in many years, but I know how important of a position he held in this company and family.

    May GOD wrap you all in his loving embrace and may peace and love replace the sorrow in time.
    Hugs~

    Linda & Stenzel family.

    1. Linda, thank you for the kind words. We are trusting that God will do exactly what you said in your post. We really appreciate you reaching out. Cindy

  9. Cindy,
    Condolences to you and your family in this time of loss. May God keep keep you and comfort you always.

    1. Blake, you are so kind to send this message. We are trusting God to comfort and guide us through this time of loss. Really appreciate you reaching out. Cindy

  10. Dear Cindy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. It deeply saddens me. I knew your dad for more then 35 years. I did not seen him in the last couple of years, however that being said I miss him.
    Please give my condolences to all of your family.
    He was a very nice man.

    Kim Liberato
    909 908-3715

    1. Kim, thank you for the really sweet words about my dad. He really was a lot of fun to be around. We will miss him too. Hope you are well. Cindy

  11. My deep condolences to you and your family, may God gives comfort and strength, God bless you.

  12. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. My prayer goes out to his soul to rest in peace.

  13. My deepest sympathies on your loss. I enjoyed knowing Tom when I was employed by VIP Rubber as a Consultant for your ISO registration effort.

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